Politics

Jay-Z Situation Room picture reveals looser security standards at White House

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Mike Riggs
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      Mike Riggs

      Mike Riggs is a staff writer at The Daily Caller. He has written and reported for Reason magazine and reason.com, GQ, the Awl, Decibel, Culture 11, the Philadelphia Bulletin, and the Washington City Paper, where he served as an arts and entertainment editor.

Rapper Jay-Z’s apparent visit to the White House Situation Room Wednesday reveals a radical departure from the last eight years of security policy, according to a senior Bush administration official.

According to photos released by an anonymous twitter user, Jay-Z, along with his entourage and his wife Beyonce, visited the White House Wednesday before a concert in Washington, D.C. During the visit, Jay-Z and company were apparently allowed access to the Situation Room. Photos from the visit feature Jay-Z sitting at the head of the table in the Situation Room under the president’s seal.

Historically, the Situation Room requires a high level of clearance due to the presence of sensitive information. “I believe the only exceptions had to be okay’d by either the chief of staff, national security adviser or the deputy chief of staff,” the Bush official wrote in an e-mail.

An e-mail to the White House asking if the pictures do in fact show Jay-Z in the Situation Room has not been returned.

The Bush official, who was present for a remodeling of the Situation Room in 2006, added, “We made very few exceptions to the rule, usually a visiting foreign dignitary attending a meeting there or someone without a clearance who needed to be briefed in that facility for some reason.”

Jay-Z announced his support for Obama in March of 2008, and claims to be in frequent contact with the president, both via text and regular phone calls. Beyonce sang for the Obamas’ first inaugural dance.